Psychographic Lists for New Movers

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Traditional list thinking must be adjusted when considering new-resident marketing (or any other life-event psychographic) in your promotional program strategies. Though a demographic characteristic may distinguish the best candidates for your product or service on the basis of capacity and capability, a psychographic characteristic distinguishes them on the basis of inclination or need.

Almost 80 percent of new residents plan to make appliance/electronics purchases. More than half plan to make furniture or window-treatment purchases, select auto repair, hairstyling, dental, medical, insurance, veterinarian, banking, bath, department store, dry cleaner, garden, hardware, building supplies, paint/wallpaper, pharmacy, supermarket and video services within a few months. The list goes on and on for new movers.

This is truly a prolific purchaser group not because of its ability to buy or our ability to persuade, but because of the discovered status and a nudge from you. Response rates of 5 percent to 10 percent, even 15 percent, are possible in this segment, and this group provides better substitution than what was lost in the routine cycle of customer attrition replacement.

Because of the relatively low population in the state of this life event, however, the ROI success of the subset often is seen as a minor achievement. This brings up another adjustment to traditional list thinking: Psychographic lists are not static, they're perpetually refreshed. There is no hotline segment; it is all hotline by definition. A perpetual hotline list can be rolled out by way of a continuity mail program.

Regardless of whether you're looking to build traffic or make specific sales, the way to reap the benefits of a psychographic list is to mail continuously and measure performance over 12 months or some protracted period that will produce a reliable response statistic. Compare this result to your traditional programs and you should find a considerable advantage to the new-move segment over the traditional segment. The program also should produce preferred customers since their spending patterns will outpace those of your non-move customers.Similar advantages can be gained from other lifestyle-change lists such as newlyweds or new mothers.

Some downside exists, though. Not all move lists are equal in accuracy and recency. Combine that with the increasing consumer tendency toward identity protection and privacy, and the use of a somewhat inaccurate move list can crank up the complaint level, especially when overtly welcoming non-movers into their "new home."

Not all services are candidates for this advantage marketing, either. Moving company, mortgage company and phone service are pre-move decisions, not post-move. Convenience stores or fast-food chains are typically sought out rather than referred.

Choose your list wisely. Look for a list with a multi-source structure, which will optimize accuracy and recency in your result. Design a package that can be mailed efficiently, plan your mailings in a perpetual schedule, analyze your result over time and you will see a minor achievement become a major triumph.


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